Resignation request a ‘badly written joke’- Nanayakkara
By Mario Andree
Responding to Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs, John Amaratunga's letter requesting his resignation, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara said that it was unethical, slamming it as a 'badly-written joke'.
On 8 January, Minister Amaratunga requested the resignation of Nanayakkara, citing that he had received a number of complaints from the industry regarding inaction and delays pertaining to promotional activities.
Speaking to Ceylon Finance Today (CFT), Nanayakkara confirmed that he received a letter from the Minister 0n 8 January asking for his resignation by 10 January.
According to him, the request was unethical, as it came during election time.
He told CFT that he neither took the letter seriously, nor did he intend to respond to the Minister. However, he has refrained from showing up at the SLTPB since Tuesday (9).
Highlighting that the letter was badly-written in terms of language and terminology, he said, "The letter was a badly-written joke, if you know what I mean. It shows the professionalism in the Ministry."
He further stated that though the Minister claimed that the industry was complaining over the delays, "The industry is backing me. This morning (11), they were at the minister's office, asking for explanations and information regarding the complaints, since none of them have any."
In his letter to Nanayakkara, Minister Amaratunga requested his letter of resignation, citing that he wanted to restructure the institution.
Ceylon Finance Today (CFT) on 6 December reported that Minister Amaratunga was considering revamping the SLTPB due to the agency's failure to execute the much delayed 'Destination Promotion Campaign.'
Amaratunga continuously blamed the SLTPB for its inaction to increase the number of tourist arrivals to the country.
According to him, he did not want the industry to suffer from changes of heads and their inactions, but wanted speedy action to increase the number of tourist arrivals to the country.
Subsequently, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Director General Malraj B Kiriella, a long-serving public servant in tourism, will be resigning from the end of this month.
On Monday, issuing a joint communiqué, Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) and The Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) commended the efforts by the heads of SLTDA and SLTPB.
"SLTPB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara, together with SLTDA Chairman Kavan Ratnayake, has been instrumental in fast-tracking the International Marketing Campaign within the brief span of five months," the organizations stated.
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